The Bordeaux region in France conjures images of bold reds, castle like chateaus and rolling hills. I must say that I did not quite imagine that my fantasy would equal the reality, however it really did. The Bordeaux region is truly beautiful, filled with medieval towns and vineyards everywhere you look. We flew into the large city of, well… Bordeaux, picked up a car and drove straight out to a village called Bourg. We stayed in a gorgeous AirBnB right in the middle of town, strolling down to the local boulangerie (bakery) each morning for fresh croissants. Bourg is an old, quaint village on the banks of the Dordogne River, making it perfectly located to explore the area. We even got treated to the local market in the village square on Sunday, complete with live music and delicious goods.
Visiting various Chateaus to try the wine is a must-do activity in the region. I highly recommend making reservations (we did not), however we got lucky when we turned up to Chateau Haut-Guiraud and were greeted by Napoleon the Saint Bernard and his very friendly owner. We got a tour of the vineyard and wine-making facilities, followed by a tasting session. The interesting thing we learnt is that all wine is naturally cloudy and that the ‘cloudiness’ gets removed purely for aesthetics… well well well. The wine was very tasty and we left a bit light headed.
Bordeaux’s most famous village is called Saint-Émilion, and this fortress style medieval town is definitely worth a visit. Be warned that it is very busy, however, once you find a spot to park your car, it is a fabulous place to stroll around. There are plenty of spots to try some wine, have a snack or gaze at a view.
Lastly, before flying out we spent a bit of time having a look around the city of Bordeaux. It felt a bit too busy and suffocating after spending our time in the countryside, however, the architecture all over town was breathtaking and does make it worth the crowds. We only spent a half day checking out the main sights and decided that that was enough
Overall, our time in Bordeaux was lovely and relaxing and filled with all the things we love – wine and cheese. It is a wonderful place to visit and is as cheap or expensive as you make it.
Here is a breakdown of our costs for 2 people for 2 days:
Accommodation – E108 (NZ$184)
Car rental – E117 (NZ$199)
Food/Drink – E157 (NZ$267)
Miscellaneous – E10 (NZ$17)
Total spent – E392 (NZ$667)